That's right, parents. It is never too early to talk with your kids about Star Wars. Have the discussion before it is too late.
Away games aren't half bad. Actually, they are kind of great.
The weekend kicked off with the home men's basketball season opener against Mississippi Valley State. A two-point win that was all too close for those in attendance. The remainder of the weekend was wide open, so at the last minute we decided to invite a few people over Saturday for the UGA/Auburn football game.
With Thanksgiving looming, I decided it was time to work on my smoking skills again. If I'm going to get that turkey right, I've got to practice. A couple of months ago we purchased two Boston Butts at Sams and had them residing in our basement freezer. While I love eating ribs, pork shoulder is so delicious when done correctly. The last time I tried smoked butt was prior to the ARGUS show in April. It was time to work on it again.
The rub recipe on these bad boys used paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Most cooking websites will tell you to rub the butts with mustard first. I've smoked shoulders three times now and always use the mustard. It does give a nice tangy flavor to it as well as acts as a nice paste to ensure the rub sticks. Patting the rub down is key. Sure, you can just throw it on there but really making sure it is applied well makes a difference in the taste.
Once the smoker was up to temperature consistently between 225-260, the butts went on. As you can tell, I do not own the nicest or most expensive smoker in the land, but this baby will work. For me, the best part of smoking is letting the fire do all the work. Of course with this type of smoker there is a little more care needed. Keeping an eye on the temp every so often is essential. I'd love to one day spring for a Big Green Egg, but the Char Griller will work just fine for now.
This go around I used pecan wood. I've never really experimented with the different types of wood you can use. I typically just buy what is available at Academy Sports. I'm going to do a little more research before we do the Thanksgiving turkey and see if there might be a better wood to use.
The cooking time for the Boston Butt is about 8 hours. Every two hours the butts were rotated. That was also the time where I would add a little more wood to the smoke box. In between the two hour intervals I would add smaller pieces to keep the temps up. The last two hours of cooking I wrapped both shoulders in tin foil. My good buddy Jon Williams, who has much more experience doing this, gave me that little tip.
It worked wonders. When I smoked the butts back in April I wasn't really thrilled with the toughness. They weren't difficult to tear apart, but not as easy as I would've liked. Using the tin foil the last two hours made a world of difference, as the pork slid apart with the touch of a fork. They had a great smoked flavor throughout especially the crust the rub made over top, which is always my favorite part. All in all, I'd say it was quite a success and the best smoking job I've ever done. Well worth the time and effort.
Notice I haven't really mentioned the game? Well ... the Dawgs did fight hard again. Without a doubt Aaron Murray is going to be fun to watch the next few years. The loss didn't totally damper the spirits, as we were more concerned about eating some good food and enjoying the company.
So now it is on to Thanksgiving. Researching has been at the top of my nightly priority list. We picked up the bird yesterday ... 17.5 lbs. With 10 people coming over, that should be enough. I hope.
I've always been a fan of the bad guy. Cobra Commander, Megatron, Skelator, Darth Vadar. All are icons from my childhood, and all really bad guys.
But the best bad guy of them all was without a doubt, The Nature Boy Ric Flair. They guy was an evil mastermind. Sure, he had his runs as the good guy, or "face," but his best roles were always that of the "heel."
So when Halloween came around, I had to jump at the chance to pose as Athens' own Nature Boy. I looked in my closet, realized I had a suit and a championship belt. All I needed would be a good wig and some aviator shades. Thank you seasonal Halloween store.
Downtown Athens will never be the same. It fell witness to the epic unholy alliance when Flair shook hands with Macho Man Randy Savage at the Winery. The ground quaked when Flair and Hulk Hogan had a captivating verbal dispute outside of The Grill. From what I remember, that went on for about 10 minutes and caused countless Halloween goers to stop, gawk and of course, laugh. I don't often go out for Halloween, but hanging out with friends and all looking silly made for a great evening.
It is hard to believe there are only two football games remaining. Basketball season officially tips off tomorrow night in the newly renovated Stegeman Coliseum. Where did the last three months go?
As you've noticed I made some changes to the layout of jaylowe.com ... again. I hadn't changed it in 10 years and now I've changed it three times in seven months. I've finally added a few pictures on the photo page. Still trying to determine how I want to utilize it. Right now I am debating between just adding random photos from time to time (like what is on there now), or having a few categories with a handful of pictures each (current, old school, things I find cool, etc).
This blog might also make a shift to smaller, more frequent posts. It has been previously used as just an update vehicle. There will still be rambling posts talking about life, etc, but I think now is the time to pop in every so often and simply share a photo, story or link I find interesting. Stay tuned.
the lowe down
The life and times of Jay Lowe, a 30-something university employee, music lover, husband, sports enthusiast and most importantly, dad.
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